Award Date

December 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics and Astronomy

First Committee Member

Jason Steffen

Second Committee Member

Rebecca Martin

Third Committee Member

Zhaohuan Zhu

Fourth Committee Member

Arya Udry

Number of Pages



Terrestrial planet formation is a chaotic and violent process which is not fully understood. Prior to Kepler, Solar System observations were the basis for planet formation models. How- ever, Kepler observations have shown that exoplanet systems are very different from our solar system, thus requiring a more complete planet formation model. With advancements in com- putational ability, N-body integrators, and collision models, we can explore planet formation by experimenting with simulations in different parameter space. Our Solar System has shown us that exterior giant planets can play a vital role in the shaping of the final terrestrial planet system. Our recent N-body simulations have explored the relationship between exterior giant planets of varying mass and size, and final terrestrial planet architecture. Here we present the results from our simulations. Understanding the relationship between the presence of giant planets and terrestrial system structure will help us interpret observation, and aid in the formulation of a general, terrestrial planet formation model.


giant planets; numerical; planetary systems; simulations; terrestrial planets


Astrophysics and Astronomy | Physics

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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